Wed, Aug 07, 2019 - Page 8 News List


End the word games

On July 30, former premier Simon Chang (張善政) said he has accepted Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential nominee Han Kuo-yu’s (韓國瑜) invitation to be convener of his national policy advisory team, but the post is unrelated to any future appointment.

He said he would recommend that the KMT stop making the “1992 consensus” its cross-strait stance, replacing it with the more neutral “constitutional one China, placing Taiwan first.”

He said that since the consensus has been stigmatized, it is almost equal to Beijing’s “one country, two systems.”

Chang obviously understands mainstream public opinion, and that the “1992 consensus” is an empty phrase that means different things to the KMT and Beijing in the lack of any consensus.

However, former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Lin Cho-shui (林濁水) questioned whether keeping “one China” and abandoning “with each side having its own interpretation” is a return to the old “gentlemen and thieves cannot coexist” concept, and expressed concern that Chang does not understand the situation.

That might be going too far, but the lack of persuasiveness of “constitutional one China, placing Taiwan first” is indeed problematic.

Furthermore, it is evident that Beijing only accepts “one China,” and that this refers to the People’s Republic of China” (PRC).

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has always opposed or refused to recognize “one China, with each side having its own interpretation.”

Is there a “1992 consensus,” and who stigmatized the term? The answers is quite clear, and Chang cunningly bypassed such questions, failing to follow through.

Finally, “constitutional one China, placing Taiwan first” might sound reasonable at first, because it may convince or attract more moderate voters.

Nevertheless, “constitutional one China” refers to the Republic of China (ROC), and it completely excludes the PRC.

Since it refers only to the ROC, its independence, sovereignty and system, its core values are the dignity of Taiwan and the interests of the Taiwanese; this is the government’s only focus, and there is no question of whether Taiwan should come first.

Instead of playing word games, why doesn’t Chang try to convince the public with a term that is easy to understand, such as “one China, one Taiwan,” “two equal Chinas independent of each other,” or “constitutional one China is Taiwan.”

If he did, perhaps he would get closer to reality and mainstream public opinion.

Chen An-wen

New Taipei City

No defender of democracy

US President Donald Trump is no great defender of democracy. His statement earlier last week that the situation in Hong Kong was a matter between China and Hong Kong was seen in China as a green light for military intervention.

Likewise, his administration is selling arms to Taiwan because, for the moment, it suits the strategic interests of the US, not because Taiwan is a democracy.

The US did Taiwan a great disservice during the presidency of Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) by preventing Taiwan developing a nuclear deterrent. Had the nuclear program proceeded, Taiwan and its democracy would now be in a position of relative security contra China.

The US has been content to observe the dwindling number of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies when it could have given the lead in according full diplomatic recognition to Taiwan, a move which would have been followed by other nations.

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